European Coaching Holidays

By: Keith Barrett

The idea of travelling by coach is certainly not new, although the quality of the experience offered certainly seems to be. Coaching holidays have always had a reputation of being cheap and cheerful, but a glance at the brochures provided by leading tour operators shows a change in emphasis.

Holidays by coach are now being marketed as luxury experiences. Indeed, these luxury escorted tours are trying to get away from their old image. Judging from the numbers of people taking these types of holidays, it seems that the marketing drive is bearing fruit.

Delving deeper, it's clear that any suggestion that the change in reputation is purely down to clever marketing fails to recognise the large changes that have taken place in the industry.

Leading firms have sought to improve the travel experience, providing executive standard coaches that make travel far more relaxing.

Realising that their continued success relies on building up a positive reputation, the major tour operators have put a lot of time, money and energy into research.

Many tours of Europe have improved dramatically as a result. The operators have realise that a long weekend in Paris or Amsterdam is not for everyone. The range of holidays on offer has increased as a result, with much of Eastern Europe being available as part of the various tour itineraries.

Similarly, the standard of hotels that are used has improved. No longer should you expect to be put up in cheap B&B accommodation.

The final factor that tour operators have looked to improve is the quality of the tour guides that accompany groups of travellers. It's now a pleasure to be led around Europe by a guide who is fluent in English and who also has an extensive knowledge of the locations that are being visited.

The improvement in standards and approach is to be commended. It's no surprise that coaching holidays are enjoying so much popularity.

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